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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr., is one of 20 named to the watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the top center in college basketball.

A five-star recruit from Southwest Ranches, Fla., Carey is a two-time gold medalist with USA Basketball having helped the 2017 U16 team and the 2018 U17 team to titles. Carey was the fifth ranked player overall in this class, the No. 3 center, and a 2019 McDonald’s All-American. He averaged 21.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game his senior year at NSU University School.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for legendary coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden at UCLA from 1966-1969. He is a three-time NCAA Champion who earned numerous accolades including three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player, three-time National College Player of the Year and three-time Consensus First-Team All-American (1967-1969). As a professional, Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA Champion, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star and the league’s all-time leading scorer.

New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the Abdul-Jabbar Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on Friday, April 10, 2020.

2020 Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List

Chase Jeter — Arizona

Nico Carvacho — Colorado State

Vernon Carey Jr. — Duke

Kerry Blackshear  — Florida

Omer Yurtseven  — Georgetown

Luka Garza —  Iowa

Udoka Azubuike — Kansas

Steven Enoch  — Louisville

James Wiseman  — Memphis

Jon Teske — Michigan

Jeremiah Tilmon — Missouri

Armando Bacot  — North Carolina

Nate Watson  — Providence

Matt Haarms — Purdue

Nick Rakocevic — USC

Neemias Queta — Utah State

Isaiah Stewart — Washington

Derek Culver — West Virginia

Charles Bassey — Western Kentucky

Nathan Knight — William & Mary